MARY ANN WINN 1925 – 2006
On October 21st 2006 St Tudy lost one of its most well known,
hard working villagers.
Mary was actually born in Treswallick, St Breward, but in 1925 the whole family, father Abraham, mother Sarah, sister Eva and brother Cyril, moved to Highertown, St Tudy and then six months later to the house in Wadebridge Road, St Tudy where Mary spent the rest of her life. This house had no electricity, water was from a pump outside the door and cooking was done on a Cornish blackleaded stove. She attended the village school until the age of 14 when she went to work for Mrs Coppin in Trefreoke, near Port Isaac, helping with the housework and also milking the cows and feeding the calves when the men were busy with the harvest. Once a week, on her day off, she would cycle home to see her parents and this continued until her mother became ill and Mary came home to look after her.
In 1946 Mary was delighted to be chosen as St Tudy’s Carnival Queen, she was crowned by Mr S. Button and attended by her friends Peggy Burden and Joyce Jago.
When Eva got married in 1956 Mary remained at home to look after her brother Cyril, earning a living working in the butcher’s shop, at Tremeer farm and by cleaning for many people in the village. Horsna Parc in Weatherham Lane was one of the houses that Mary cleaned for many, many years, almost all her working life. I first met Mary when she worked for Chris Rawlinson at Little Orchard Cottage; not only did she do the cleaning, she did the shopping and also walked the dogs when Chris became too frail.
Our village hall always looked sparkling, due to Mary’s hard work, she was caretaker and bookings clerk from 1953 until 2006. She also looked after the Clink, organised the Poppy Appeal and delivered Parish Magazines and polished the brass in the Church. Mary loved her local church, regularly attending services and when there was a Church Choir, Mary sang in it. On one occasion Mary was going up for Communion; she walked a couple of steps and then did a sort of curtsey. This went on all the way up the aisle. When she came back she was asked what she had been doing, her reply was that it was her turn to clean the brass but she had forgotten to polish the rails on the end of the pews, so she was wiping it off with her hankie each time she got to each pew end!
She was a staunch member of the W.I. supplying the flower arrangement for the President’s table at every meeting, and whenever there was a village event, Mary was there. She enjoyed taking Cyril to Polzeath every year for a week’s holiday, where they were joined by other members of her family. If there was a coach trip, Mary and Cyril were on it.
One of the highlights of Mary’s life was in 1994 when she was chosen to receive the Maundy Money from the Queen at Truro Cathedral. The following, written by Rev. Raymond Wood, is an extract from The Binding Stone book:-
“The annual Maundy Thursday service, attended by the Queen, was held in Truro Cathedral this year for the first time. 134 pensioners in the county had the great privilege of receiving from the Queen the traditional purses containing Maundy money.
She looked most regal in her matching blue ensemble and all eyes were on her as she walked majestically into the Cathedral, led by the Maundy Wandsman, and I felt proud as she stopped in front of my seat and greeted me with her warm friendly smile that makes one so relaxed in her presence. But then Mary sat down, and we all waited for the Queen to arrive, for Miss Mary Winn of St Tudy was one of those so chosen.
We had prime seats near the pulpit and were impressed by the Yeoman of the Guard resplendent in their red and gold uniforms; and with the way the Duke of Edinburgh read the lesson. But the highlight for me was to see the natural way in which Mary curtsied to Her Majesty on receiving her gifts. The Queen was most gracious to all the recipients and I am sure it will remain as one of the proudest moments of Mary’s life; I was privileged to be there.”
Mary was also invited, in 2006, to one of the Queen’s Garden Parties which are held in the grounds of Buckingham Palace but she declined to attend due to ill health.
Mary was one of the great characters of the village, generous to a fault, always willing to help and you knew when you had been accepted by her when she consented to call you by your Christian name. We all miss seeing her trotting down to the village shop with her trolley, usually returning with not only her own shopping, but that of several other people. When she died someone said ‘A light has gone out of the village’. How true that is.
A crab apple tree has been planted in Mary’s memory by the Village Hall,
and on June 17th 2007 a brass plaque was put up in the Hall by the hall chairman, Ian Hodges,
watched by Mary’s brother Cyril.
Sue Dibble 2007